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How to Calm an Anxious Child

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It is common for children to feel anxious; just like adults. When they are trying something new, or do not like doing something, it makes them anxious. Kids get anxious especially when there is some big change in their lives; like shifting to a new house or school. Anxious kids will find it hard to concentrate, will lack self-confidence and will lose their temper easily. It is important for us, as parents, to not snap at them, and to help them deal with their problem instead. We must be able to talk to our kids about their anxiety issue, and help them overcome it. If your child’s anxiety is severe, and starts to interfere with their everyday life, it may be better to consult a doctor. Given below are a number of tools that can help calm an anxious child.

1. Visualization

Visualization is an extremely powerful tool to deal with anxiety. You can ask your child to close their eyes and to picture themselves in their happy place. Let them visualize them in a place where they feel safe, comfortable and happy. This will help ease out the symptoms of anxiety. You can also ask them questions like, “If you gave your feeling a color, what color would it be?”, or “Rate how you feel from one to ten”. This will help you determine their level of anxiety, before discussing it with them.

2. Counting

Another effective way to calm your anxious child would be to get them to count. This is a distraction technique that requires your child to concentrate while counting, which helps ease their level of anxiety. You could even ask them to focus on the clock, and tell you when ten minutes have gone by.

3. Breathing Technique

Breathing is a calming strategy for anxious children. Tell them to close their eyes and take a few deep breathes, or you can even make it into a game by telling them,” Let’s pretend we’re blowing up a giant balloon. So take a deep breath, and blow it up till the count of 5.” This will easily distract the child, and calm them down.

4. Calming fragrances

Fragrances are also known to calm anxiety. Spray some soothing perfume, or light some scented candles around the room to instantly calm your kid

5. Drawing

Drawing or coloring is an excellent tool to divert the attention of an anxious child. When your child starts to feel anxious, you can place a coloring book in front of them. You can also ask your child to draw in order to express his feelings. Sometimes it is easier to express ones emotions through art rather than words.

6. Love

Show your kid that they are loved and cared for, in order to ease their anxiety. Embrace them, and tell them they are loved and safe. Ask them to take a minute to list out all the people that they love. Tell them you are proud of them, and will always protect them. Support your child through the difficult situation, and assure them that you both will get through the situation together.

7. Question them

Another way to deal with anxiety issues is to actually deal with the problem. You can do so by asking them to identify what they feel and to open up to you about it. Ask them the following questions:

• Why do you feel this way?
• What do you think will happen next?
• What is the worst thing that could happen?
• Let’s act like detectives and investigate the situation, shall we?
• How can I help?

8. Motivate Them

Sometimes, kids just need a little reassurance that everything will be alright. Therefore, it is extremely important to motivate and encourage them to get through the situation. Saying things like “You are so brave!” or “You can do it” will really help them be brave and face their problems. Reassure them that you will
you are always by their side, and will help them persevere in this situation. Another trick to help ease their anxiety is by telling them to say “I can do this!”10 times; louder each time.

9. Relating

Your kid probably thinks that they are the only ones having anxiety issues. As parents, it is our job to let them know that there are times when we also get scared and anxious; and also tell them what we did to overcome it. Acknowledging that the situation is difficult is also a good thing to do, because it lets your child know that you respect their feelings.

10. Exercising

Going out for a walk or making your child do yoga are great tools to relax them and relieve them of their anxiety. They can also stretch, or go for a run to burn excess energy and boost their mood.

11. Stress Ball

Stress balls are malleable toys that are squeezed in the hands to relieve anxiety and stress. It is an extremely useful tool for kids to use when they are feeling anxious, as they can direct their anxiety to the stress ball.

12. Changing the topic

Changing the topic is also a good option because it will help divert the attention of the anxious child. Try to engage them in some fun activity when they feel anxious. Encourage them to keep their feelings aside, and either draw, or go for a walk. When they deal with the problem later, it won’t seem like such a big issue anymore!

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